Pushing Through
Would you take advice from someone who never follows through on their own advice? Would you listen to a close friend telling you to be patient when they are one of the most impatient people you’ve ever met? Probably not.
PHOTO CREDITS
photography: Irina Dyachenko MODELS: Daria Shunina, Tatiana Steshova, Kristina Kalinina

If someone told you

to give them half of your hard-earned money, just like that, for no discernible reason, you would probably decline politely. You wouldn’t give away your money just like that. But in fact, you do give away your time just like that. Every single year. It’s funny how during the last months of the year, we give up on ourselves and the goals we have set at the beginning of January under the golden name of ‘resolutions.’’

And yet again, by December, almost each and every one of us will sing to ourselves the same old songs: “I need to lose weight,” “I need to read more,” “I need to start working out and be stronger.” And the classic “I need to talk to more people – do some networking.” Society says networking is the key to success; next year, if there’s one thing you want to be, it’s successful. And you’re going to do everything it takes, right? Right?

Would you take advice from someone who never follows through on their own advice? Would you listen to a close friend telling you to be patient when they are one of the most impatient people you’ve ever met? Probably not. When observing how humans act and react amongst themselves, we can see that many misunderstandings stem from one thing: we do not know ourselves. I would always wonder what ‘knowing myself’ meant in the past. Since I was a young woman, I was told that if I didn’t know myself, I would not meet the right people and not be able to build the kinds of relationships that would make me a better person for those around me.

As time passes, I understand that knowing oneself is an effort to return to your roots, no matter how painful, all the while trying to create hope for the future. Whatever our childhood was like, and no matter how much we may strive to differ from our parents, we seem to be apples that never fall far from the trees that bore us. That’s probably why we take advice from podcasts and YouTube videos with much less arrogance than that of our close ones. It is less painful for our ego to hear advice from people who do not see our weaknesses daily.

In the past, I have recommended to many of my loved ones that they should try self-hypnosis since it is the one thing that has helped me turn my life around. More powerful than meditation in my case, I have found self-hypnosis to be a solution that would help me suggest to myself positive thoughts, in addition to helping me understand my feelings. As a teenager and young adult, I was a terribly negative person, wondering why I was burdened with the gift of life. As I approach my thirties, I understand that I am growing accustomed to life on Earth, and instead of rejecting it, I am actually starting to enjoy it. How did that change happen?

Well, I firmly believe that experience combined with knowledge can make you the most powerful version of yourself. Beyond amassing riches, I have come to find that the mindset is everything. Oh, how many books and articles have I read to become a more positive person without understanding that acceptance is at the core of it all, not resignation, instead acceptance. Because you cannot be a positive person without accepting that life is sometimes negative, can you? That’s why I do not believe in creating new resolutions each year, which, in my mind, means that you are forfeiting a considerable part of your life to a lost cause. Instead, I believe in improving a little bit every day, whether by meditation, reading, or connecting with new souls.

TIME LINES UP

We’ve been conditioned to consider the second part of the year, or at least the beginning of fall, the year’s drop. The moment when it’s okay to relax because the cold times are coming, after all. At this time, we almost forget that life goes on whether you try to erase those last few months of the year or not. It’s a modern mistake and a societal sickness to believe that each year’s end is like a death. It’s not. Time is one straight line, no matter how much of a pre-determined concept we want to make it. It engulfs us without letting any space to escape – and no possibility of getting it back. 

Next year, how about you not make promises that you’re not going to keep? You don’t believe in them, truly. Otherwise, you would make them happen. How can you really believe in promises you make to yourself when you are setting a time limit for the progress you’re trying to see? You are creating an implied rule that if you don’t succeed within a specific time frame, then it’s not worth putting in the effort. But each year, you still promise yourself that you’ll network, that you’ll read more, or maybe the biggest lie of the beginning of the year, that you’ll go to the gym.

If you start going to the gym on January 2nd based on an ill-conceived resolution, I can promise you that you’ll have already abandoned your new routine after two weeks. Why? Because you did not honestly believe in it. You made these resolutions because society (such as friends, family, social media, and the TV) said that on January 1st, we must make these uptight, supposedly beneficial promises and hold ourselves accountable. Thank you very much. You don’t believe in losing weight and won’t lose weight because you’re leading a life you don’t want to live. As a result, when the end of the day comes, and you’re overworked, all you want to do is be left alone in front of Netflix. Another episode of Friends, of You, of Game of Thrones, of something that allows you to escape just for a little bit. And that’s how you lose track of the fact that you promised yourself things. Because if you’re overworked and trapped in a life that owns you more than you own it, you can stand it for some time, but that is not a human life we are designed to endure.

Do you want to know another reason why you’re not keeping the promises you’re making to yourself? Because you think you have time. You procrastinate. You can “do it tomorrow”. Tomorrow becomes the day after, which becomes next week, next month, and finally, again, next year. Let’s take the example of cigarettes. When you smoke cigarettes, you don’t see the health issues that ensue straight away. But we all know what happens after years of smoking; sometimes, only months. 

Time acts silently, yet with a compound strength that I believe is one of the most frightening effects given to witness by humans because it is rarely seen happening openly in front of you. And it’s not just every year. The waste of time starts every single day. When you’ve had a bad moment, and that bad moment defines the rest of the day. One more day to waste. The good thing is that there are ways to stop this vicious circle and hold yourself accountable for the promises you’ve made to yourself. But first…

DON’T TRY TO CUT TO THE CHASE

In life, some things are made to be difficult; that’s the way it is. The processes of learning and expanding your knowledge and morals are challenging, but no one can just cut to the chase. As I feel my mindset becoming stronger, and more adult, I understand that some paths are rough and that rather than being a drawback, it is a strength. Some experiences must be earned.

If you want to become a human being, in the true sense of ‘being,’ then you must be aware that some chases cannot be cut. You will have to endure pain to improve the quality of life you can provide other people. I do think that while we are each gifted with one life on Earth, our presence here is not a mistake, and we are created to alleviate the pain of other people around us and offer them as many moments of joy as possible. As human beings trapped in a society that forces us to wake up almost every morning to be able to put bread on the table, we have slightly lost track of that. Everything around us is so fast-paced that we have forgotten to listen to ourselves. What do you think you were brought on Earth to do? In my case, I think it is sharing words with people; that is why, after years of wondering what the heck I was supposed to do with my life, I finally understood.

How did I know what I wanted to do in life? I wondered what made me happiest and chose the perfect verb to describe it. My verb is ‘share.’ Then, I tried to understand what format my sharing would take if I wanted to live in the ultra-modern world or do a classic old-school job. I also wondered what I liked doing as a child and understood that from the age of 10, I was already writing, writing all the time. Then life caught up with me, and like everyone else, I had to make money to eat and pay rent.

One day, I woke up, and the opportunity for a life change was there, in front of my eyes, unexpected. I had been working over fifty hours a week and was longing for a change. Becoming a full-time writer was the most difficult and exciting thing I have ever done in my life. It took more work than I had ever put into anything else because it is my passion. Don’t wait until next year to ask yourself what your verb is and what you would like to do with your life. Talk to friends and family and ask them what used to ignite sparks when you were younger. Help yourself to a good serving of self-hypnosis and another cup of meditation: they will help you turn your life around. And most importantly, feel grateful for your life. As long as you are alive, there are immense amounts of possibilities waiting for you to grab them.

…AND PUSHING THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE

So, what do we do to push through to the other side? By another side, I mean the following year, that almost dreaded first of January that triggers awe and hope. For starters, you won’t want to make ‘good’ new resolutions for next year. Instead, try to short-circuit this closed, herd mindset. You don’t want to make good resolutions to fit in society. You want to make good resolutions that help your higher self and make you happy. Every little action count, every little bit helps, and every little moment of gratitude is crucial to improving your quality of life and those around you.

You’ll need to stop for a minute and wonder who you genuinely want to be. Because compound effect works, and it is an effect that you can choose to turn to your advantage right this instant. Every little bit you do defines who you are. Before acting, you thought, and your thoughts designed that action. Take a few moments. Breathe. Time flows freely, and it takes you away with it. Nothing is as important as it seems, and everything will have passed in a few years – you probably will not even remember it.

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